Born February 28, 1931 in Mount Kisco, New York, USA
Gavin MacLeod's pleasing, agreeable manner on two hit TV series in the 70's and 80's belied a number of shady villains he portrayed in his early career. Born Allan George See in Mt. Kisco, New York, on February 28, 1931, and raised in Pleasantville, he was the son of Margaret (Shea) and George See, a gas station owner who was part Chippewa Indian (Ojibwa). He followed his 1952 graduation from Ithaca College (Fine Arts major) with Air Force military duty, then moved to New York City and worked for a while as an usher and elevator operator at Radio City Music Hall. Focusing on acting, he changed his stage name to "Gavin McLeod." A solid break on Broadway in "A Hatful of Rain" in 1956 led to a move to Los Angeles in an attempt to break into film and TV. He began to earn a minor reputation as a second-string heavy in such crime shows as "The Thin Man," "Steve Canyon," "Manhunt," "Mr. Lucky," "Peter Gunn," "Michael Shayne," "The Untouchables" and "Perry Mason." This led to a regular comedy role as part of the McHale's Navy (1962) TV series. He also managed several film roles, although far down the credits, with I Want to Live! (1958), Compulsion (1959), Pork Chop Hill (1959), Operation Petticoat (1959), Twelve Hours to Kill (1960), High Time (1960), War Hunt (1962) and McHale's Navy (1964). He was a member of the superb supporting cast of The Sand Pebbles (1966). He returned to Broadway in "The Captains and the Kings" in 1962. Gavin's career more or less flowed and ebbed until 1972, when his shiftless typecast was shattered forever. As Murray Slaughter, the balding, beaming, wisecracking, gleaming-toothed news writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), Gavin became a happy household name. From then on, he could only be envisaged as a lovable schmuck and nice guy. From there he went on to another benign starring role with the TV series, The Love Boat (1977), as the ingratiating Captain Stubing. On the down side, "Love Boat" marred his chances to be considered for more challenging work, and his inability to cope with success led to alcoholism and divorce from second wife Patti. However, he later turned his life around, remarried his wife, and they both wrote a book called "Back on Course" (1987). Gavin continued sporadically on the musical stage ("Gypsy," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Gigi"), in TV reunions ("Love Boat" specials) and as a TV guest ("Murder, She Wrote," "Touched by an Angel," "The King of Queens," "Oz," "That 70s Show," "JAG," "The Comeback Kid").